Friday, November 29, 2013

The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: Friday Recap (Week 7) and Next Week's Cooking

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of family, friends and healthy food--the American readers that is. For everyone else from all over the world, and there are readers from all over the world, please bear with us as we go on and on about Thanksgiving. It must be sort of annoying.

Our Thanksgiving was a huge success. I didn't take any photos of food, because once the guests arrived, my mind was totally elsewhere. But here's what the tables looked like right before our festivities commenced:

I'm up early this morning blogging because one of our cats woke me up with some crazy screeching about this other neighborhood cat that comes right up to our downstairs windows. It's okay, I have to drag my butt to work (yep, work) anyway. I might be a bit of a zombie today, or I may need to indulge in a little bit of caffeine to get me through.

Have I told you yet that this is my busy season at work? I own a printing company and we produce gorgeous, custom holiday cards, among other things. During the holiday season, my business partner and I are out on the production floor, knocking out orders with the rest of our team. There are never enough hands at this time of year.

So when I saw that there was a recipe in the Eat to Live Cookbook entitled "Too-Busy-To-Cook Vegetable Bean Soup," I was like, "That one's right up my alley this week!" I just have to find the time this weekend to get to the grocery store to acquire the ingredients!

I was lucky enough to be on a lunch break Wednesday when this graphic popped up on my Facebook page. It's a complete checklist of Nutritarian guidelines in a very easy to read format. I printed out five copies and brought them home. Two are posted around my kitchen and I'm holding onto the other three for the future.

Do you want to know what I haven't been doing from that list? Eating my steamed greens! I kind of got steamed-greened-out a few months ago, after Chef AJ's visit. I was eating steamed greens for breakfast for months on end until finally, I had just had enough. But I'm so ready to get out my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker and whip up steamed greens regularly again. This time I am going to add onions and mushrooms and other fun stuff, and I'm NOT going to do it for breakfast (sorry AJ). I'll be doing it when I step in the door from work, because it's that easy.

Greens will be a great addition to our evening meals, when I find that my eating deteriorates to its worst. I swear, I'm perfect all day until I get home from work, starving and tired! Steamed greens should help, especially if they are delicious. I just might have to start trying some of those sauce recipes from the Eat to Live Cookbook.

Plan for Week 8:

Brown Cremini Gravy, p. 105 
I'm actually writing this post on the morning after Thanksgiving, before my family wakes up. I decided to add this gravy to my Thanksgiving cooking because I have an extra container of mushrooms and the other ingredients are pantry staples. Plus, I had extra time. I hadn't considered making a gravy when I planned out our Thanksgiving menu. It was an oversight.

Artichoke Lentil Loaf, p. 204
I'll be reviewing this one on the blog next week, because it made it onto our Thanksgiving menu.

Orange Peanut Dressing, p. 89
Do you know what I'm guessing? I'm guessing that I am going to love this dressing. So much so that I'm going to make a double batch just to make sure that I have enough for my husband and I for the whole week. There's nothing worse than running out of homemade dressing before the week is through (that's my attempt at a joke).

Too-Busy-To-Cook Vegetable Bean Soup, p.168
Do you know what else I'm double batching? This soup! I didn't make a double batch of last weeks soup, the incredible Black Forest Cream of Mushroom Soup and I regretted it. I found myself feeding the soup to my husband but not eating it myself because their just wasn't enough to go around (that's what us caregiver types do, to our detriment).

This soup looks so easy and has the makings of something delicious. I can't wait to taste it!

Wild Rodeo Salad, p. 131
We're going to a Chanukah pot luck dinner on Wednesday night, and I've volunteered to bring a salad. I thought I'd take the opportunity to give another new Eat to Live recipe a try. This one looks really easy, and with my busy work days right now, it's about all I can fit in.

My BIG post about healthy desserts did not get worked on this past week. I forgot how busy I would be with work and Thanksgiving prep. This post might be a few weeks away yet.

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Are you busier during the holiday season than at other times of the year? How do you handle that and try to get good food on your table? Or are you just busy all year round and you struggle to get healthy food in your belly all of the time? You certainly wouldn't be alone. That's a problem for a lot of people these days.

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